Cat Coughing: Common Causes and What To Do About It.

Cat Coughing: Common Causes and What To Do About It.

Coughing is a natural reaction to pain in the airways or throat of your cat. Even though coughing is a natural reaction, cats should not cough often or on a daily basis. The majority of pet owners have never seen a cat cough!
So, how can we tell if our cat is coughing or doing something else? When do we need to be concerned? What causes cats to cough, and what causes them to do so?

Do Cats Have Coughs?

We all cough from time to time, and cats are no exception. Coughing is merely a reflex that aids in the removal of foreign matter from the respiratory tract.
Coughing occurs when the “coughing receptors” that line the pharynx (the region between the nose and mouth), larynx (the speech box), trachea (the windpipe), and smaller airways are irritated (bronchi).
In an otherwise stable cat, occasional cat coughing is usually nothing to be concerned about. Pay special attention to coughs that are more chronic or severe, or those that are accompanied by other symptoms.
Make an appointment with your veterinarian if your cat has a serious or persistent cough. Early detection and care are critical for a speedy recovery!

What Does a Cat Cough Sound Like?

A dry cough makes a “honk” or “wheeze” sound and your cat won’t swallow afterward.
A wet cough sounds like water or like something is stuck in the back of your cat’s throat (perhaps crackles). He can swallow it (an exaggerated movement seen in the throat).
It’s difficult for pet parents to tell if their cat is coughing or developing anything else.

Why my cat is coughing? Most Common Causes:

Coughing in cats may have a variety of causes. Keep in mind that the problem could be anywhere in the body, from the throat to the deepest part of the chest. The treatment plan would be based on the cause of your cat’s coughing.
Many pet owners believe that their cat is coughing because of a furball. If your cat has a furball, he would most likely retch or vomit instead of coughing.
Coughing in cats can be caused by a number of factors, including:

Viral Respiratory Infection
Feline herpesvirus-1 or feline calicivirus may cause this (or rarely influenza). These viruses are highly infectious from cat to cat. Cats will contract the virus as kittens and carry it for the rest of their lives. Viruses that affect the upper airways, such as the nose and throat, are the most common. Coughing can occur if the throat is inflamed and irritated.

Asthma or Chronic Bronchitis
Chronic bronchitis (also known as feline asthma) affects about 1% of sick cats. It’s a condition that’s close to human asthma. This is an inflammatory condition of the airways that triggers a chronic dry cough in the majority of cases. This disease is more common in Siamese and Oriental cats.

In cats, pneumonia refers to a generalized inflammation of the lungs. Pneumonia strikes rapidly and leaves your cat feeling ill. It includes feverish, unable to eat, inactive, and possibly unable to breathe. Variety of factors may cause this, including:
Bacteria, viruses, parasites, protozoa (such as Toxoplasma gondii), fungi, or mycobacterium infections.
Infectious Bronchitis

Infection causes inflammation of the airways in the lungs. It can occur as a result of:

Bacteria including Mycoplasma and Bordetella bronchiseptica. These bacteria are seldom found alone and are often infected with a virus that infects the upper airway and/or lungs. Coughing normally comes on unexpectedly. It causing a headache, a loss of appetite, reduced movement, and sneezing with nasal mucus.
Lungworms are parasitic worms living in the lungs (Aelurostrongylus abstrusus or Eucoleus aerophilus). These parasites live within the lungs’ air passages, causing inflammation and coughing in cats. These are more popular in outdoor-only young cats.

Inhaled foreign objects

Plant bits, things your cat tried to eat, or even a furball might get stuck in the throat or inside the nose on occasion. If a foreign body is present, it causes inflammation and mucus, which may lead to a cough.


Edema occurs when fluid enters the lungs’ air passages. It causes coughing as the body tries to expel the fluid while struggling to breathe. Heart or something else may cause this. Coughing due to heart failure is very uncommon in cats. So, edema is unlikely to be caused by heart disease. Having your cat’s heart checked by a veterinarian, or cardiologist, is also the best way to know.

Polyp in the Nasopharynx

A mass formed as a result of chronic inflammation of the nose or throat. There isn’t always a clear explanation for this. These swellings cause inflammation and, in most cases, mucus, resulting in cough, as well as a possible shift in voice or snoring.


When cats are injured, bleeding can occur within their airways, causing them to cough. The lungs themselves can be punctured, allowing air to escape. It also makes breathing difficult. In either case, these cats need immediate medical care.


Cancer in cats can trigger cough in a number of ways. A large mass rising in the chest or throat region and pressing on the trachea (windpipe) or lungs’ air passages is one way. Another risk is cancer that has spread to the throat, windpipe, or airways.

Pleural Effusion

This indicates that there is fluid inside the cat’s chest but not in the lungs. It may be a bacterial infection, cancerous fluid, or lymph fluid (rare). This fluid puts pressure on the lungs outside of the lungs, causing coughing.

Cat Coughing accompanied by Other Symptoms

Coughing is also accompanied by other symptoms, which may aid in diagnosis.
• Sneezing and Coughing of Cats
Coughing and sneezing in cats, for example, are often linked to an upper respiratory infection. Sneezing and a runny nose result from a nasal infection. Some of the discharge runs back into the lungs, causing a persistent cough.
• Wheezing and Coughing of Cats
In cats, wheezing is a common symptom of asthma. We often see it in conjunction with coughing and difficult, fast, or open-mouth breathing.

What Do I Do If My Cat Coughs Up Blood?

While a stable cat coughing up blood isn’t cause for concern, a cat coughing up blood is a possible emergency. If your cat is coughing up blood, contact your veterinarian right away.
There can be a variety of reasons behind cat coughing blood:
a traumatic event
Cancers eating away at blood vessels.
Infections that are serious
Toxic exposure that prevents normal blood clotting

Treatment of Cat Coughing

The treatment for a coughing cat depends on the cause of the coughing. So, a veterinarian’s diagnosis is crucial.
The following are some of the most popular remedies for coughing in cats:
Antibiotics including doxycycline and enrofloxacin are used to treat respiratory infections and pneumonia.
Steroids, such as prednisolone or a fluticasone-contains cat inhaler. Veterans use these to treat chronic bronchitis, polyps, and other inflammatory disorders.
Lungworm antiparasitics include oral fenbendazole and topical imidacloprid/moxidectin.

Cats with more serious conditions, such as pleural effusion, trauma, or extreme pneumonia, can require hospitalization and treatment with oxygen, antibiotics, and special procedures, such as fluid removal from the chest in the thoracocentesis precess.

If your cat has a foreign body or polyp, your veterinarian may suggest anesthetizing him and inspecting his mouth, throat, and nasal cavity while he is asleep. A veterinarian may be able to extract a. If a foreign body somehow sticks near the back of the throat or if there is a lot of mucus, flushing the nasal cavity may help.

Cat Cough Medicine

Dextromethorphan and guaifenesin are two drugs that can help cats with coughing. These drugs are available over-the-counter and in human pharmaceuticals. As they are generally ineffective, doctors prescribe them rarely. These also do not address the underlying cause of the cough, which may deteriorate over time.
You should consult a doctor if your cat is coughing.

When to Worry?

If you hear your cat coughing for the first time and you haven’t seen him before, keep an eye on him. Even though he isn’t showing any other signs of disease, a cat that has been coughing for two weeks or longer has a chronic medical problem that needs to be addressed. The best way to keep your cat safe is to notice that he is coughing and take him to the doctor as soon as possible.

If your cat is coughing excessively or seems to be in pain, You should take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible. The following are examples of symptoms that mean your cat needs to be seen right away:

A. Appetite is down or non-existent.

B. Reduced or non-existent operation

C. Hiding or other behavioral changes

D. More than one breath per second (over 60 breaths per minute)

E. Exaggerated breathing, such as when the chest and/or belly move in and out rapidly or dramatically, or when your cat paints/breathes openly.

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